Blending for student engagement: Lessons learned for MOOCs and beyond

Amanda P. Montgomery, Denyse V. Hayward, William Dunn, Mike Carbonaro, Carl G. Amrhein

Abstract


The purpose of this ongoing, three-year action research study is to explore the digital challenges of student engagement in higher education within the experimental platform of blended learning. Research questions examine the role of digital innovation in supporting diverse learners, as well as building meaningful connections with technology for undergraduate teacher education students. Results from qualitative data collected through instructor journals and field notes and student mid-term and exit surveys during year one, indicate blended learning can be effective for modelling how to use technology to shift learners towards more active agency. The immediacy of the localised university classroom delivered a viable research setting for digital experimentation, while providing a significant lived experience for undergraduates to springboard their future technological practices with K–12 students. Four pedagogical opportunities for digital intentionality in virtual spaces emerged during data analysis and are shared as considerations for future innovation: (1) designing digital resources, (2) scaffolding student learning, (3) learner customisation, and (4) promoting the lived experience. Lessons learned could be effective in helping develop higher quality educational experiences for on-campus students, as well as scaffolding greater engagement in online formats involving more global populations (e.g., massive online open courses – MOOCs).

Keywords


Student engagement; Blended Learning; MOOCs; Higher education

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1869